Rangitoto was born from series of volcanic explosions around 600 years ago which makes the youngest island in the Hauraki Gulf. Today there is no permanent population. It’s like going back to basic. Regrettably we didn’t go exploring the island because of time factor. From what I’ve read in the brochure I think it would be exciting to explore the island. I think you need at least half day to explore the island. You can either explore the island on your own or with guided tour on four wheel drive.
Rangitoto Island is a great day out from Central Auckland. Rangitoto is one of the many volcanoes that makes up the Auckland region.
My day started with a ferry over to the island. Once there a reasonably tiresome trek up the top followed, initially on on the beach which then moved into more woody areas comlete with volcanic rock galore. Along the way stood information ta various points about volcano formation, the history of Rangitoto etc. I bit further on after some steep climbing you come to the Lava Caves, extremely dark caves complete with jagged rock (take a torch). These were formed when lava flows hardened around the outside leaving lava to flow through them (or something). Also, by this point I was extremely hot!
Once at the top you are treated to views of Auckland and Mohutape (think that was what it was called) Island opposite which has noticably different landscape from Rangitoto.
Ferry tickets cost$20.40 from the Auckland ferry terminal), 30 minute ferry across to the island of Rangitoto. This island being a once active volcano that rose from the sea approximately 600 years ago to form what now basically is a crater at the centre and old lava around, thus the island. After arriving at the Rangitoto wharf i proceeded to walk to the summit. The summit being 250 metres above sea level and although the walk is marked as 1 hr 1 way, i ended up doing it in 32 minutes. Arriving at the summit after a steep final section you are greeted with some truely awesome views of Auckland and its eastern harbour. Also within view is the full extend of Rangitoto island, neighbouring Motutapu island.
from there i proceeded to walk briskly down towards Islington Bay, its old wharf and the causeway linking Rangitoto to Motutapu island. Turned out this was a nice relaxing walk being mostly downhill and through ancient lava flows and semi reain forrest like vegetation. Now back to the Island and upon arriving toward the dissused wharf i started to notice old run down shacks or shanty houses as i would call them. Turns out they are batches dating back to the 1920's - 30's and are now being preserved as a part of history that once had over 100 batches upon these two islands. They reminded me greatly of the shanty shacks i encountered years before on the stretch of coast north of Perth (Western Australia) near the famous pinnacles and beach town of Cervantes. Cute little shacks these where and truely their creator where ingenious.
Ok, now from here i proceeded somewhat back by the route i had taken to get to Islington Bay, but also by the coastal track and arrived back at the Rangitoto wharf about 10 minutes before the ferry arrived. From here the ferry trip home was a relaxing event only broken somewhat by the short stop at Devenport (another cute little town on the north of Auckland harbour).
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